Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Water Children

No comments

I read that in Japan abortions
are called water children: creatures
that don’t make it out of the first ocean,
babies who hold in their air for too long
and never learn to breathe, who sail out
in the liquid, just as they sailed in: a broken ship
in a broken bottle. Last night
I dreamt that you broke and I had to do it all over again--
the dreaming up names, the wrenching open
a space in my too-cluttered heart,
the seasickness in reverse.

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta is the author of The Fairy Tales Mammals Tell and the founder of Poetry for Strangers. She teaches writing during the summer at Harvard and during the rest of the year in Boise. She is mother to one daughter. Visit her website at

More from

Comments are now closed for this piece.